Lifelong Learning

6 of 10 adults participate in learning activities

Lifelong learning is gaining increased importance both in Norway and the EU, as it is seen as a key mechanism in equipping the workforce with the skills needed in a rapidly changing labour market.

The most recent international comparable data lifelong learning is from the 2016 Adult Education Survey (AES). New data will be published in 2023, collected through the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

The survey shows that Norway is among the countries with the highest share of adults participating in learning, with a share some 16 percentage points above the EU-average in 2016. Amoung European countries for which data is available, Norway is ranked 4th highest in participation.

Lifelong learning is a key strategic priority for the EU, and a target has been set of increasing the participation rate in learning activities to at least 47% in 2025 and 60% in 2030.

Note that the data from AES in 2016 is adjusted to be comparable to future data collection through the Labour Force Survey by excluding "guided on-the-job training’".

Lifelong learning for employed persons

More recent data on adult learning in Norway can be found in The Learning Conditions Monitor (LCM), conducted by Statistics Norway. The monitor is not directly comparable with the data presented above. There is also a time-series break in 2021 due to a revison of the Labour Force Survey (which the monitor is a part of).

Data from the monitor in 2021 shows that:

  • 23% of adults (15-59 years) participated in formal education
  • 6% of adults (22-59 years) participated in formal supplementary education
  • 35% of adults (15-66 years) participated in non-formal education and training

The monitor includes data for employed persons by industry, allowing for a more detailed look at participation in learning for people who are active in the labour market.

Public administration had the highest share of adults participating in non-formal education and traning. Accomodation and food service had the highest share of adults participating in formal education.

The monitor also shows that in many industries, a majority of the employed persons did not participate (in the last 12 months) in any form of formal or non-formal education or training. The non-participation rate was highest in the transportation and storage industry.

About the data and terms of use

Data for Norway and EU-countries is from the Adult Education Survey. Adjusted numbers from AES for 2016 can be found here.

Data from Norway for 2021 is from the The Learning Conditions Monitor.

Link to our terms of use.